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The University of North Carolina System’s board made a significant decision on Thursday, voting to repeal a nearly five-year-old diversity, equity, and inclusion policy. This move suggests that its 17 institutions may follow the trend of other major universities in reducing diversity programs and positions.

The 24-member UNC Board of Governors passed its agenda, including the repeal of the diversity policy, although two members dissented. WCCB says, changes on campuses are expected to be implemented at the beginning of the next academic year. The revised policy focuses on eliminating a 2019 regulation that delineated various diversity, equity, and inclusion roles within the university system, such as diversity officers, and specified their responsibilities, including managing diversity initiatives and training programs for faculty and students.

The new policy emphasizes compliance with state and federal nondiscrimination laws, upholds principles of free speech and academic freedom, and mandates institutional neutrality, prohibiting the university system from taking positions on contentious political issues.

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